3.7 Thanks for Sharing
|Clayvon C. Harris
|June 15, 2001
As Talyn struggles to recover from his injuries, Moya's crew bargains with a paranoid planet to get the medicine he needs, Crichton deals with being beside himself, and Crais brings Aeryn some more good news.
Chiana: "I tried... I tried not to start any trouble."
:"Well, you're not in any trouble."
D'Argo: "Well, you are."
D'Argo commences to beat the living hell out of the lowlifes
D'Argo: "Every frelling planet!"
Crichton:"Who did you piss off this time?"
Crais:"Talyn and I were not the aggressors."
Crichton:"Of course not. You never are. So who is it? The Plakavoids? The Skekses? The Big Bad Wolf?"
Crais:"The Peacekeepers. They want Talyn back."
Crais:"You don't believe me, Crichton."
Crichton:"Only because I know you."
Crichton: "Work. Now. Freak. Later."
Rygel:"I hate being useful!"
Chiana: "Yeah. We know."
More to come (eventually).
If anyone sees my partner, just, you know, back away slowly and carefully, and give station security a call. We're pretty whatever she's got isn't contagious, but it's best not to take chances....
Well, it was weeks worth of suffering, but man was it worth the wait! Farscape has occasionally taunted us with a fantastic set-up, and a disappointing follow-through, but not this time, man; if not the massive mind-frell of last episode, this is still a solid, fascinating hour. John is beside himself, Crais is up to something, and Aeryn's past is coming back to haunt her again. Who could ask for anything more?
Heck, the mind-blowingly gorgeous opening shot alone was worth the price of admission -- the FX crew gets mondo brownie points for their work this week, as does the Creature Shop (this little lie detector beasties were far too much fun, if slightly cheesy and entirely icky). And both this week and last week have been outstanding freshman efforts from the new writers and directors -- DK is hiring good people!
Watching John fight with himself is just... odd. Ben does double-duty and does it so well I forgot to watch intently and try to figure out how and when they were doing the mirroring. There were simply two Johns, and we moved on from there. And how! This looks like it's going to get drawn out for a while, and I'm impressed as hell at the writing staff for going there. Doesn't look like Ben got to leave the set like, ever, while they were filming, but it was obviously worth it. When he went into the infirmary to donate blood to himself, and when he gleefully used the doubling effect to screw with the Lobsters of Truth -- those were truly awesome moments. I cannot *wait* to see where they take this.
The one I actually feel the most sorry for is Aeryn -- not enough that she's had John to deal with for the last two arns. Now she's got *two* of them, driving each other crazy and trying to take her with them! She's coping remarkably well, because that's what Aeryn does -- but now Crais has to stick his nose in and add further mind-frelling to the equation. Dealing with her mother is going to tear her loyalties in the worst possible way -- that one memory, that declaration that she was special, is something she's clung to her entire life. It shaped what she was, and what she became. Caught between her mother on one hand, and Talyn, her 'godchild', on the other, is not going to be fun. Separated from himself, John might be able to help, but it's still gonna get ugly.
Wow, remind me to never be around when Crais wakes up; nice combat instincts there, man. It probably wasn't the smartest idea to leave him alone with a stranger, but you've got to admire his reflexes. And yes, they remembered that Crais didn't know Aeryn was alive! Far too cool; Lani's reaction was beautiful. (And love the reference to the Skekses, guys; self-referential in-jokes are always appreciated.) Crais is, of course, up to something -- the sky is blue, the Pope is Catholic, and Crais has a scheme up his sleeve. The information about Aeryn's mother is all well and good; Crais has never been shy about turning any opportunity to his advantage. But he had something to tell Aeryn before she died, before this first little encounter with the retrieval team, and it wasn't about her mother. It was personal. Bet having one of the Crichton's along for the ride on Talyn is gonna drive him nuts. Kudos to Lani for his always wonderful performance as Crais -- layers and layers and layers....
I could not stop giggling for the entire opening fight scene, with D'Argo riding in to defend Chiana's honor (?). His disgusted "Every frelling planet!" spoke volumes -- just an absolutely priceless bit. The byplay between these two has, happily, survived the Breakup From Hell; it's just functioning on entirely different levels now. Even Stark is reasonably tolerable this week, even when he's nuts -- largely because, whenever he gets too insane/annoying, someone slaps him down. Yay!
Thank God, Jool finally has a purpose! She's no Zhaan, but that's okay -- we had a Zhaan. Watching Jool fumble her way into usefulness -- into the practical when she's only ever had the theory -- is fun to watch, not to mention being Good For Her. She's never going to be much use in a fight, I think, and god knows she's a spoiled brat, but in her own sphere of expertise, she's obviously proving to be competent. I repeat, thank God. And Rygel has regained his purpose by being Bargaining Boy again, even if that is the only thing he has to do.
And Our Merry Crew runs into yet another dysfunctional royal family. This one isn't short on brains or balls -- in fact, they could do with a lot less of both. Tolven is arrogant enough to swing on a Luxan, and fire on a strange ship, but he's also smooth enough to have gotten away with this sort of behavior for quite some time, and I certainly prefer his relatively straight-forward approach to his sister's noir chick 'stab 'em in the back while they're protecting you' schtick. :P Bet Sarova shows up somewhere down the line, and so not in a good way. Great turns from the guest stars.
[Addendum: With time this weekend to actually finish rewatching the episode, I need to add two notes. One: the replacement of Sarova with the shapeshifter was very cool., subtle enough that I missed the moment the first two times around. But I stand by my assessment of Sarova, fake or not, as a serious noir chick manipulating her way through life, but it was still cool. I don't blame Sarova, given her situation, but I do wonder if we're going to see her again. Regardless, Aeryn's mother is sneaky. Two: God, I love the continuity on this show. I would kill to see a copy of the Farscape bible, if new writers are able to produce episodes that fit so tightly into the universe. The little throw-away references to first and second season (and the massive ones like the scene with Aeryn's mother and little Aeryn) are just excellent.]
Overall, this arc, and this season, are promising as hell. We saw so little of Xhalax Sun, but the casting looked excellent, and she's sure to be an incredible character. This new turn on the Peacekeepers, the ongoing saga of the two Crichtons, whatever the hell Crais is running behind the scenes... The plot lines are tangling like taffy, and the fun is just beginning.
3.8 Green-Eyed Monster
|June 22, 2001
Talyn and his makeshift crew -- Crais, Aeryn and John -- are swallowed by an intergalactic whale, forcing them to work together despite spiraling tensions to escape intact.
Aeryn: "Talyn, you've seen them both naked. Perhaps you can tell us who's bigger."
Crichton: "Whose stupid idea was this anyway?"
Crichton: "People keep saying you've changed. I think... the weather changes. And we just keep making the same mistakes."
Rygel: "Oh good, they're alive. Now you can torture them with your insane dribblings."
Stark: "They're going to say yes."
Rygel: "No, Sebaceans are ugly, not stupid."
Rygel: "Mother always said I'd die from incompetance. Now I finally know what she meant!"
Aeryn: "Talyn just spaced John."
Kiki is currently a little distracted by trying to explaining to Stark which parts of the station he's allowed to roam on. The debate has devolved to "My side, your side" -- this could take a while.
A lovely, claustrophobic episode -- Ben does a great job of shoving three people (four if you count Talyn) in to an enclosed space and dialing up the stress levels to watch everyone wig. The details of the episode -- Talyn's 'pranks dialing up to the murder attempt; the moment-by-moment attempts to anchor the ship and later set the explosion; the constant increase in the level of subtext between Aeryn and Crais -- are impressive as hell, and get more so on repeated viewings. Ben's got a pretty good touch with the characters, and with plot, and Tony's direction just wraps everything up nice and tight. But wow, can you tell Ben is Shakespearean-trained -- this entire episode screams The Bard Wrote Me. Which isn't bad, just... odd at times.
Poor Talyn -- dealing with Daddy, Mommy and Mommy's New Boyfriend. < sigh > I'd be more pissed at him if he wasn't a) about 6 and b) so completely frelled in socialization, which happens when Bialar Crais is your moral compass. I'd love to know how much of his little harassment tactics were his own and which were at Crais' instigation -- that 'home video' of Aeryn and Crais was pretty damn sophisticated for a kid, even a genegineered warship.
And can Crais manipulate with the best of them or what?!? Convincing Auntie Aeryn how good she is with the kid so she'll feel compelled to stay [and why he's so hot on that I have no idea -- it's either the obvious (Aeryn being a babe) or the secret I think he's still keeping]. Given his physical condition, talking Aeryn into the Hand of Friendship was quite the trick in and of itself. Knowing our boy Bialar, I totally believe he at least encouraged all of Talyn's efforts against John, if he didn't actively instigate them. I love, love, love Lani Tupu -- he plays Crais with so many layers that it's impossible to tell when he's sincere, and when he's just frelling with your mind. He seems to be genuinely attached to Talyn, but how much of that is affection and how much is expediency is still up for debate. He was awfully quick to write John off, and quite happy to set off that explosion with John still outside.
And, of course, John is in no psychological condition to be dealing with manipulation on this level; Talyn/Crais found his weakest spot and hit him straight in his stabilizer -- Aeryn. It's to his credit that he restrained himself to one shouting fit, but wow, was that a temper tantrum, and a badly-timed one, at that. He does know how to shovel out those low blows, doesn't he? He dealt pretty well with the rather intense jealousy, as well -- too well. We confront and fight on issues like this, John; we don't lurk and sulk. John and Aeryn seriously need to have a talk about their roles in each others' lives, instead of continuing to fumble blindly. (And I don't count that last scene as a serious talk, by the way. Ben, Ben, Ben, how much 'shipper fic have you been reading? It was sweet and all, but the dialogue was mildly scary, and that flash of the star as they kiss -- way over the top. End 'awww'ing, begin giggling.)
Not that Ben and Tony weren't doing their own little mind frell, with the whispered "Meet me in my quarters" meetings and conspiracies going on behind John's back (and people rearranging clothing as he comes into the room). Not to mention said 'home video', leading to about 30 minutes worth of 'did-she, didn't-she'ing from the audience. Aeryn keeps getting trapped between her loyalties -- to John, to Talyn, to her past -- and there just never seems to be a good way out for her. She's got a hell of a juggling act going, and Crais did a brilliant job of slipping between the balls for a while there. As I said, she and John need to have a serious talk, but as long as there's two of him, neither terribly stable, she's going to continue to have the fun job of being The Sane One, which just isn't going to leave much room for relationship crap. And giving up Talyn, after she wanted so long to be able to take care of him, was a major choice for her -- and not one I entirely agree with. For John and Aeryn, absolutely right. For Talyn... Well. But at least she's not under any illusions about Crais' trustworthiness anymore.
The problem with Stark being insane is that you never know when to take him seriously, or when he's just wigging the frell out. That said, I wanted to smack Rygel for not listening to Stark, but I can't really blame him. He and Stark were an interesting distraction from the Fraughtness of Talyn's crew, and the fact that their fighting was pointy in the end was a Good Thing, but it did mess with the flow of the episode a little. Still, the two of them are pretty damn entertaining in an enclosed space, in an entirely different way than the other three. And Stark joins the list of the Beaters of Buckwheat! < giggle > And not a moment too soon! Of course, he's also in the kissing Rygel club, which is more than slightly disturbing....
It's going to be damned interesting to see where they take Talyn's continued development -- he's currently sociopathic in the way all little kids are -- they're just not aware of other people except in relation to themselves. Most kids outgrow that, but with Crais as a father figure.... This isn't looking good.
I also feel kind of sorry for the other John; after this, he's pretty thoroughly locked out of the Aeryn/John dynamic. Of course, that'll make things interesting if this John is the one to eventually buy it.... Lots of ways to go with this. Back to the other crew next week, looks like, so we can see what they've been up to, which is a more-than-slightly frightening concept. < g > Splitting up the crew was a risky choice by the writers, but so far, it's working out. Onward....